Filed: Monday, 28th October 2013
By: Preview Percy
Hide the Sanatogen, it's Preview Percy. Again. Sorry....
Barely has the final whistle blown on one match then another starts as we traipse up to Turf Moor for a 4th Round League Cup tie with Burnley. Kick-off is 7.45pm and extra time and penalties will be available if required to separate the sides should there be a deadlock after 90 or 120 minutes.
They're having a decent season so far. They're top of Division 2 (as we traditionalists call it) having won all but three of their 13 games – and they drew two of those three a well. Most recently they beat title rivals QPR – though by the time Henry Redknapp gets to updating his book you'll probably find it has turned into a 5-0 win to the visitors. This has left them on 32 points, thee points clear of Leicester City who leap frogged QPR into the auto promotion slot. It's been a fairly comfortable ride through the rounds in this competition as well; a 4-0 win at York was followed by a 2-0 home win over Preston and a 2-1 defeat of Forest in the third round.
The manager is the distinctively-voiced Sean Dyche. Dyche was managing Watford when a change of ownership led to the installing of Gianfranco Zola. He pitched up in Burnley in October 2012 when Eddie Howe legged it back to Bournemouth. Dyche led them to 11th place last term, their 61 points falling short of the 68 points that were good enough to give Leicester the last playoff spot.
In terms of sheer numbers they've not got the biggest of squads, which means that we're unlikely to see much in the way of the League Cup squad rotation that is de riguer these days. This means that first choice 'keeper Tom Heaton. Heaton arrived from basket case club Bristol City in the summer, his contract having expired. He's had a suspension already this season, picking up two yellows in their only defeat at Brighton. The first yellow was pretty standard stuff, a foul outside the box. The second was a bit odd though. Bouncing the ball he went to roll the ball out but changed his mind after a challenge from an opponent and he picked the ball up again, earning him his second caution. I wonder how many cautions have ever been given out for that particular offence.
In midfield they have Basildon-born Michael Kightley. Kightley is currently on loan from Stoke. Kightley had a bit of a falling out with Tony Pulis last term, presumably having asked when the training sessions were going to introduce a football. With Pulis shown the door and Hughes arriving, Kightley gave the traditional “I want to fight for my place” speech to the papers. Hughes was so impressed (not) that Kightley ended up on a season's loan at Turf Moor.
The ex-Hammer in the squad is Junior Stanislas. Stanislas joined the Clarets in 2011 for an undisclosed fee having failed to impress Sam Allardyce sufficiently to earn a place in his plans for what turned out to be the promotion season. He'll be remembered for his role in the infamous 3-1 defeat of Millwall in the League Cup, the nature of his celebrations in scoring a brace (including a spot kick) drawing criticism from some quarters. He could also have been the only player with the first name Felix to have played for us but I'll be damned if I'm going to waste vauable drining time looking it up.
Up front the current hot shot is Danny Ings, player whose surname sounds like it's missing a syllable or two. He's got 13 goals this season of which 9 have come in the league. He picked up a pair in Saturday's defeat of twitchy's lot and is in such form that his manager has been touting him somewhat optimistically for England status. Ings started off his career at Southampton before moving along the south coast to Bournemouth. He moved to Burnley in 2011 following in the footsteps of then manager Eddie Howe. However it's only this season that he's been able to show any sort of for, his career at Turf Moor being hampered by a succession of serious knee injuries. His recovery coupled with the departure of the similarly talismanic Charlie Austin has meant that he has come into his own this term.
Ings's strike partner is Sam Vokes. Quite apart from his contribution on the goal front (8 - all in the league) it would appear that there is a decent rapport developing with Ings from which both are benefiting.Vokes signed from Wolves in 2012 though his Molineux career wasn't exactlly the most productive. In the four years he was nominally on their books he spent loan time at no fewer than 6 different clubs, namely Leeds, Bristol City, Sheffield Hypocrisy, Norwich, Burnley and Brighton. On signing for Burnley he found his chances limited by the form of the aforementioned Austin and again his departure for QPR has freed up a space for someone taking full advantage.
Midfielder David Jones (real surname Bowie probably) who spent a large portion of last season on loan at Blackburn from Wigan will be missing having picked up his 5th yellow of the season against QPR. His decision to Join Burnley in the summer rather than make his loan at Ewood Park permanent went down really well in Blackburn, I expect.
Fellow midfielder Dean Marney is a doubt having been subbed with a knock on Saturday, However, despite being sent off in the same game for suggesting that the lino's eyesight was not all it should be, mascot Bertie Bee will be available to irritate everyone on the touchline.
And so to us. Another hard-earned point on the road – notwithstanding Laudrup's mad ramblings about penalties. On another matter how funny was it to see the obnoxious Steve Bruce complaining about bad refereeing against Spurs. Strangely he seems to have forgotten how his player dived to win a penalty against us, something we are happy to remind the hypocritical thick sorry excuse of a manager of.
I'm sorry, I digress. Back to us and the one bad bit of news was the injury to Ricardo Vaz Te – it looked like a dislocated shoulder to me which will mean a lengthy absence for him – which is a shame as he was just beginning to get into some decent form.
Much will depend on the side Mr Allardyce puts out for this one. In the 2nd round it was a much changed XI that took on Cheltenham. Against Cardiff it was a slightly stronger XI that took the field. On that basis we might expect more of a first XI to be selected, perhaps with Carlton Cole starting a game for the first time of his second spell, after his sub appearance in Wales.
I'm going to base my prediction on the idea that we'll be putting out a strong side. Most observers are predicting a home win for this one – based on their league form and the fact that we're not in the top half of the league. Being an awkward so and so I have a feeling that the difference between the Premier League and Championship is slightly greater than they might be ready for. So I'm going to place the Avram Grant Olymic Rest Home's cash prize for anyone who can find a proper fact in Harry Redknapp's book (£2.50) on a 2-1 win for us, though it may go to extra time.
Enjoy the game!
When Last We Met At Turf Moor – Drew 2-2. (Championship, March 2012) Despite dominating the match we somehow found ourselves 2-0 down before Nolan and Tomkins gave us our 5th successive draw. Sam Baldock missed a sitter that would have given us the extra two points.
Referee: Robert Madely – It's a feature of the League Cup that we get referees we wouldn't normally encounter during the league season. This will be this ref's first time in charge of one of our games, though we'll probably be seeing a bit more of him as he was promoted to the select group during the summer.
Danger Man: Danny Ings – 13 goals this season is a bit of a giveaway.
Daft Fact Of The Week: Punk-popsters Chumbawumba came out of Burnley. They were noted for their political ideologies. We can, therefore, only presume that they were out when call was made asking for permission to use their single “Tubthumping” in adverts for an ambulance chasing legal outfit. You know the sort – one of those that ringing me up to ask me if I'd had an accident that wasn't my fault. (Stock answer: “no – but you will if you don't stop ringing me”). I bet they are in though when the letters bearing the royalty cheques arrive.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
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